I bought my Tesla Model S P85D in 2015. I love this car. I wash it almost weekly as it is a daily driver. It has been ceramic coated to protect its shine and the upholstery cleaned and maintained for my 4 years of ownership. I say this to express my love for this car. I choose this car over the E63 AMG because I believed in the mission to go green and the ability to still get the vehicle performance I was looking for, not to mention the technological possibility of “Auto Pilot.”
Through the years of ownership the car did have some issues. Door handles would get stuck, frunk would unlock randomly, the little things which would be repaired and fix under the warranty. The initial experience of support was outstanding. Tesla Syosset would send a truck with a car dolly of some kind and pick up the car from my home or send a mobile person to work on it. If they needed the car for a while, I would receive a loner, sometimes even delivered to me at home when they came to pick up the car. Those days are long gone now and surely would be missed, but I understand it probably wasn’t sustainable in their business model.
As of today I have clocked two major issues since owning the car, one driving through some flood water which killed the vehicle a couple hours later, and two just recently when the “expected” MCU failure occurred. You know there is an issue with service when you dread taking the car into service, not because of expensive dealer parts, but because you are afraid you will receive the car worst off than when you sent the car in. This feeling of dread should never be the feeling of an established luxury brand service.
The first issue with the flooding was repaired and paid for by my insurance company. However, when the car was returned to me the paint on the doors wer damaged. Most likely the damage was because of whatever plastic tape they had adhered to the car to cover the windows during repair. I know this because I had visited the location while the car was in the lot on a rainy day, and I figured they did this to keep water from entering the car. I didn’t want to be that person to complain while they are actively repairing, and I know there is a process to things, but I expected to get the car back physically how I gave it to them. Nope, there were scratches on the back hatch. Probably from placing parts on top of the hatch. The back seats had indentations like they had stored components on them for some time. I was upset, but I felt it was nothing earth shaking and I didn’t want to make a big deal of it. In my mind Tesla was a growing company and I wanted Tesla to succeed. I did report it to the service center management and urged them to get their act together if they wanted Tesla to be seen as a “luxury brand”. I had my detailer buff out the scratches to his best ability and he cleaned the glue from the tape off of the doors. The interior still have the dents to this day, as conditioning and steaming the interior did nothing. Sigh…
On February 5 2020 the dreaded dead MCU occurred. I was aware this was possibility since seeing Rich Rebuild episode “Tesla Hacker Highlights Major Issue” posted on May 7th 2019. I drove to work, only not being able to drive back home. Even though the instrument panel screen looked operable, the center console would not turn on, and the car would not come out of the “Car Off” mode. It fit all the symptoms of the Dead MCU and the reboot combinations would just not work for neither consoles. I could not tow the car because I was in a low suspension mode before the MCU died and none of the Tow trucks which were sent could get it done, Not Triple A or Tesla’s approved provider. The tow companies could not fit a jack under the car to slip the wheel skates on it and where the car was located at the time, a car dolly would not be able to fit. Additionally, there was no way to manually put the car into neutral since there was no way to access the MCU. Both towing companies charged me for not being able to tow the car. Next day Tesla sent a mobile tech who was able to reboot the car by disconnecting the high power battery and the 12volt battery which allowed the car to be placed in a driving mode. The drive mode allowed me to drive the car to the Syosset service center. I was nervous because I was afraid I would get the car back damaged. I already knew I would be charged over 1500 for the repairs since I am now out of warranty, even though the fault is by design or lack thereof.
Today 2/13/2020 I received the car with creased dents in the metal like trim on both top corners of the MCU screen. There is a spacing in the dash. To their defense the Tesla service representative did warn me of the issue over the phone, and expressed they would schedule a mobile engineer to fix it at a later date. However when I did receive the car the dents was not the only issue. The middle cubby was left opened and hanging with the interface cables hanging. I had a phone holder with wireless charging channeled inside the trim to the left dash window. They removed it from the dash and left it hanging in center area. Fine, per the Tesla representative “it’s not Tesla approved hardware” so they could not put it back the way they found it. The car was giving a warning about the parking assistance was disabled. The technician did not plug in the front bumper censors. When they went in the service lot to check on why the alert was going off, that is when I notice the frunk trim was just loose. All the trim clips were removed and just placed freely in place. I complained of course and the representative stated they will have the mobile tech correct my list of issues.
So because of this experience, I felt the need to write about my experiences with Tesla, not because I want Tesla stocks to fall, or to give Tesla a bad review, but to express the gaps in Tesla’s service which makes their brand an “expensive car” brand and not a “Luxury” brand which so happen to be a producer of electric vehicles. Regardless of the fact that my car is four years old and no longer the 134k car it was at purchase, it should still be treated as a high end vehicle by the brand itself, and not like a 1986 peugeot being serviced by John Doe’s auto service center. I don’t know if this is due to New York employees and their attitudes about workmanship, or the lack of professional training by Tesla for their staff, but it is clear to me there is a gap in servicing of the vehicle they produce and is in charge of servicing.
As much as I truly love this car, I have to ask myself would I have had a better ownership experience purchasing the Mercedes E63 AMG instead of my P85D at the time. If I decide to purchase a new car for all the new upgrades and bells and whistles of the tech I love, I now have to ask myself do I really have brand loyalty at this point.
Sorry for the long rant, but I needed to get this off my chest. Thanks for reading if you got this far.